Enhanced blue economy

Enabling Aotearoa to transition to a blue economy by developing BE principles, enhancing opportunities, and supporting adoption.

Activity Leader Duration
Jodie Kuntzsch (Moananui) 2022-2024


The ‘blue economy’ is a new way of doing business with the ocean and goes beyond the traditional, purely economic concept of GDP. 

It is marine activities that generate economic value and contribute positively to ecological, cultural, and social well-being. It has the potential to encompass a wide range of activities including offshore renewable energy, ecotourism and biotechnology as well as sustainable aquaculture and fisheries. 

Our research has laid the foundation for much needed innovative solutions aimed at helping Aotearoa to transition to a new era where economic activity is inextricably linked to ongoing, long-term ecological resilience, which supports a blue economy.  

We are weaving together insights from across our 75 research projects through the following activities:

1. Blue economy principles (BE1) 

Working with businesses, investors and regulators to identify a set of core principles that help guide their decision-making in building a blue economy in New Zealand.

2. Sustainability reporting (BE2) 

Connecting our research on the blue economy, ecosystem-based management (EBM), ecosystem services, restorative economies, Māori economy and co-governance to support marine sustainability measures into nature-related disclosures, and business metrics and reporting initiatives.  

3. Building a blue economy in place (BE3) 

Identifying value creation opportunities from connections among different blue economy activities across sectors, different types of business and economic activity (from corporate to community scales) and developing strategies for place-based blue economy development. 

4. Activation and uptake (BE4)

Enabling our research to support transitioning to a blue economy, driving uptake of outputs that empower existing agencies and sector entities to transition, attracting new participants into the blue economy, and increasing accessibility of financial instruments for investment in and development of an Aotearoa-centric blue economy.

Research Team

Jodie Kuntzsch (Moananui)
Cerasela Stancu (EnviroStrat)
Katherine Short (Terra Moana)
Bill Kaye-Blake (NZIER)
Nick Lewis (University of Auckland)
Shaun Awatere (Manaaki Whenua)

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This is a national project.